Tickets distribution causes heartburn in Congress in Madhya PradeshNovember 6th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS
Bhopal, Nov 6 (IANS) Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh’s appeal to party workers to forget their differences and work for the party’s victory in Madhya Pradesh notwithstanding, simmering discontent among leaders over denial of tickets has started surfacing. Many are either switching to other parties or contesting as Independents in the Nov 27 assembly elections. Singh, who was state chief minister for 10 years, Thursday urged the Congress activists to work unitedly for the party nominees and ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s defeat. “All of us know that everyone can’t be made a nominee. Those who did not get tickets may be pained but this is the time for us to forget all our differences and work for the formation of a Congress government in the state,” he said.
But no sooner did Singh issue the statement than reports came of party leader Manvendra Singh, a former minister, quitting the party and deciding to contest as an Independent.
Manvendra Singh, who was minister in the Digvijay Singh government, wanted to contest either from Maharajpur or Bijawar constituency, in Chhattarpur district. After the Congress denied him tickets from both places, he decided to quit the party.
On Wednesday, two party leaders crossed over to other parties - Congress spokesman Mukesh Nayak joined Uma Bharati’s Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS) party while Shankar Pratap Singh is contesting from Rajnagar in Chhattarpur on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket.
Party leaders are angry at state Congress chief Suresh Pachouri, especially after reports that he was able to corner tickets for a majority of seats for his group in the second list of candidates. Not only disgruntled ticket aspirants but their political mentors are miffed at the development.
Hundreds of supporters of Kedar Singh Mandloi, an aspiring candidate from Kalapipal, staged a demonstration at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office in Bhopal on Tuesday and Wednesday, after Saroj Kumari Singh was given the ticket instead.
Earlier, a group of party activists tried to torch the effigy of Pachouri at the PCC office but his supporters chased the protesters away.
On Sunday, former state Congress spokesperson Arif Masood’s supporters mobbed Digvijay Singh at the PCC office demanding a ticket for their leader from Bhopal (central).
On the other hand, a group of Sahariya tribals from the farms of Raghogarh Congress candidate Mul Singh has been opposing the party ticket to him instead of to Digvijay Singh. Mul Singh is a protege of Digvijay Singh.
There have also been protests against the ticket to Balkrishna Gautam, who is said to be close to Suresh Pachauri, for Dhar constituency.